Brussels, 14 July, 2010: OGP has announced the formation of a Global Industry Response Group to identify and gather work being done by the Association’s member companies and national regulators in response to the ongoing incident in the Gulf of Mexico. Also involved are national and international oil & gas associations and other stakeholders around the world.
The Group, under OGP leadership, will focus on the outcome of the official investigations now underway. It will also identify other questions raised by the incident. Particular emphasis will be on subsea well control, oil containment at the well and cleanup techniques for major oil spills. Additionally, the Group will review offshore operating procedures and equipment, audit inspections, oil spill liabilities and financial provisions and possible changes to regulations and legislation.
Once results of the official investigations are available the Group will quickly consolidate and disseminate lessons learned throughout OGP’s membership and beyond. The Group could also become involved in overseeing research projects that may be prompted by the Gulf of Mexico findings.
OGP Executive Director Michael Engell-Jensen announced the Group’s formation at a meeting with the European Commission in Brussels on 14 July.
He began by expressing industry’s sorrow at the Gulf of Mexico tragedy. “In the aftermath of 11 lives lost, 17 people injured, continuing damage to the environment and disruption to people’s livelihoods, our objective must be to incorporate lessons learned from the Gulf incident into risk management policies here in Europe and wherever the oil & gas exploration and production industry works,” he said.
“Worldwide, the industry has safely drilled thousands of wells in frontier locations. Now we need to understand what led to this incident to further reduce the risk of well control failures and oil spills and optimise response capabilities if such incidents do occur.”
Other imperatives are at work as well, he added. “We remain driven to provide – safely and sustainably – the oil & gas that people the world over will need for decades to come. As part of that effort, OGP will work with all relevant stakeholders with a view to regaining public confidence in our industry. Today’s meeting, our earlier involvement with the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Seas & Coastal Areas on 23 June and a previous discussion with the European Commission on 11 May are indicative of our eagerness to engage with European institutions and other key stakeholders. Together, we can work in the best interests of society,” he said.